Thank you Helena P. Schrader, www.Schradershistoricalfiction.blogspot.com for your great comment on writing historical fiction. I do move in different genres, but my focus is clearly historical. I know that might be difficult to fathom, but even my science fiction is in some degree historically based.
Right now, I'm taking a break from writing by writing. I'm waiting for my tea water to boil so I can prepare Russian tea and eat two left over Krispy Kreem chocolate glazed donuts. Seems like a worthwhile thing to me. I'm wondering if I should have a cigar as well. Such richness in life is the richness of a great novel. You should be able to imagine the tastes, smells, colors, feel, and sounds of the world encompassed by the writing. In Daemon (working title) I want you to feel with Aksinya all she experiences, but especially her constant fight against temptation.
Why pick a woman as the main character. Many of my recent books are plagued with women as the primary characters. I don't just choose them for fun. There is a reason and it is directly related to the theme. Primarily, a woman can be an immediate pathetic character (I don't mean this in a negative fashion). Pathetic means: affecting or exciting emotion. A woman as a character instantly draws your reader into an emotional response. When I describe Aksinya as plain and yet loving, when I tell you that she is willing to risk her soul to save her family, your immediate response is to like her. When I describe her temptations, her personal demon does tempt her sorely, you have pity on her. On the other hand, if I made her character a man, your response to her temptation would not be pity, but anger and disgust. Though men are as tempted as women, you expect a man to be tough and to always be able to fight temptation. You expect a man to be a certain way, and if I write a man as an effeminate character, you won't like him. On the other hand, if I write a woman as a manly character, you will applaud her. So for this reason, because my theme requires an emotionless, manly, but pathetic character, I choose to make her a woman. Here is her description from the first page of the novel (actually the beginning of the novel):
"The dank stone room was filled with shadows. Every corner oozed darkness. Within a pentagram that was encompassed by a circle stood a slight young woman. Fat yellow beef-tallow candles marked the points of the pentagram and weakly illuminated only the area around her. A brazier of incense filled the room with the scent of myrrh along with an underlying smell that was indeterminate, but left a taste of blood in the mouth. The woman was dressed in a black dress that was much too large for her. Beautiful handmade lace cascaded down the front of the dress and decorated the sleeves. Thick velvet competed with black satin to form a perfect attire to greet a Tsar, but certainly not a commissar. The gown fell loosely away from the woman’s thin chest and small breasts. It looked odd draped on her body, like a girl playing dress-up from her mother’s closet. But this dress obviously came from the closet of a princess.
Aksinya, the woman within the pentagram, squinted across the dark cellar. She was barely seventeen and too thin for her age. She was petit; that was a polite way of saying small. And underdeveloped, that was a polite way of saying she didn’t yet appear much like a woman. Aksinya’s hair was brown and her face was plain. Her voice was soft and sometimes too shrill. When she was excited it rose in strength and pitch, so she never sounded very mature or well mannered."
Aksinya does conjure a real demon, Asmodeus. The demon:
"Immediately, Aksinya’s words changed. They words of enticing and cajoling became those of welcoming and greeting. They leapt automatically from her lips. As she spoke, she carefully watched the shape across the room. It began to move. At first it rose and fell as though it was just beginning to breathe, and then it began to grow. It unfolded like a flower, but this flower was like nothing beautiful the earth had ever seen. It was man-shaped and black. Its skin and muscles clung to it as though it was only bone and muscle without any fat at all. When it had unfolded completely, it touched the top of the ceiling, at least seven feet tall. More than two meters. Its limbs were long and at the end of its fingers were talons and of its feet were claws. They were black too. Its face was black and handsome. Fangs jutted out of its lips on the top and the bottom, but the face was aristocratic and fine. At its head were ears that lifted up points like an animal and horns at either side.
The creature was naked, and Aksinya’s eyes moved almost without her control downward. There was nothing there. It was like an expurgated statue. There was nothing but a pubic bulge. Aksinya wasn’t certain whether to be disappointed. She raised her hands in the final greeting and let them fall."
So, we have the girl and the demon. That is the beginning.